Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic

NEWS

The 21st regular meeting of the Ministers of the Environment of the Visegrad Group of countries took place under the auspices of the Slovak V4 Presidency on 29 – 30 September 2014, in Bratislava at the Hotel Devín. The meeting was held within the extended V4+ format, together with Romania and Bulgaria. In addition, discussions on climate change issues during the second day of the meeting were (untraditionally) joined by Germany and France.

The ministerial meeting was hosted by Peter Žiga, the Minister of Environment of the Slovak Republic. The Czech Republic was represented by Jan Kříž, the Deputy Minister of Environment. State Secretaries Zsolt Szabó and András Rácz came to represent Hungary, whereas Marcin Korolec, the State secretary of Ministry of Environment, spoke for Poland. Along with their counterparts from the V4, Svetlana Zhekova, the Minister of Environment and Water of Bulgaria, represented Bulgaria and Mihail Faca, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, stood for Romania. The German delegation was led by Jochen Flasbarth, Environment State Secretary and Harlem Desir, State Secretary for European Affairs headed the French delegation.

The purpose of the 21stministerial meeting was to discuss and coordinate mutual positions on current environmental and climate change issues debated within the EU. The meeting was primarily devoted to climate change issues, in particular those of the 2030 Framework for climate and energy policies. This was especially significant prior to the October European Council meeting that was to bring a long-expected approval of its final form.

Great attention was also given to the international climate negotiations. The ministers and state secretaries discussed their expectations for and positions on the climate change conference in Lima. The Ban Ki-moon climate summit that transpired just one week before the meeting was also evaluated. In addition, the Clean Air package was on the meeting agenda as well as the Circular Economy and Waste package.

The second day of the meeting was again dedicated to debates on climate change issues, this time with the participation of Germany and France.

As usual, the 21st Ministerial meeting was concluded by signing a joint statement summarizing common interests and positions of the V4 + 2 on the topics discussed. Regarding the 2030 Framework for the EU´s Climate and Energy Policies, the countries agreed that it must be sufficiently ambitious, although they stressed it must reflect our regional specifications. As a result, the V4+2 strongly promotes the introduction of only one greenhouse gas emission reduction target at the EU level, whereas the establishment of any other legally binding targets at either EU or national level is not desired.

Moreover, the Ministers and State secretaries emphasized the crucial importance of fair effort-sharing as well as the introduction of an additional compensatory mechanism. They also reiterated that it is the sovereign right of every country to choose its most suitable energy mix as is enshrined in the Treaty.

On the international climate negotiations the countries highlighted the significance of the Lima climate change negotiations, with particular attention to the Paris Climate summit at the end of 2015 that hopes to bring a new world climate agreement. Additionally, they welcomed the outcome of the UN Ban Ki-moon Climate and the momentum it created.

Lastly, they expressed their general support for the Clean Air package as well as the Circular Economy & Waste package. However, the V4+ countries promote further discussions on their final form, as they consider their currently proposed targets overly ambitious, omitting member state specifications that make their implementation challenging or perhaps not even feasible within our region.

Joint statement in PDF (pdf, 1 076 kB)

Last update 27/2/2015